From the President’s Desk – The Importance of Being Needed

Photo credit: Gustavo Kralj/DWF Conference/Gaudiumpress Images

Photo credit: Gustavo Kralj/DWF Conference/Gaudiumpress Images

“I guess being needed is almost as good as being loved. Maybe better.” Betty Smith, “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn”

It’s been a busy – and overwhelming –  two weeks. I attended and spoke to a group of women at the Dynamic Women of Faith Conference in Toronto a few weeks ago (photo above), finished three different editing projects and currently in the process of completing five others.  I finished two writing projects. I’m reading submissions, negotiating two contracts for my publishing company and coaching three authors in their self-publishing journeys. For the Guild, I am answering daily emails (sometimes up to 25-35), working on updating membership, welcoming new members, helping to organize the upcoming live conference and assisting with a variety of other committees. My husband and I teach NFP and will be speaking to a group of engaged couples this weekend at our diocesan marriage preparation course. This is all in addition to my duties as a wife and mother.  My daily “to do” list is so long that I rarely complete everything. Given how overwhelmingly busy I’ve been, I’m greatly anticipating the quiet solemnity of Holy Week and the joy of Easter Weekend.

The other day, I happened to mention to an elderly friend of mine in an email that I was overwhelmed.  She has no family, no relatives left. She wrote: “This may sound unsympathetic, though I hope not. Be grateful for them. It means you are needed and wanted. Yesterday, I had the unusual circumstance of being needed four times, three for counseling and one for an errand. I went to bed very thankful. The two young persons whom I counseled rather intensively will grow up and grow away from any need of me, and it’s likely I’ll never see them thereafter. (Though they might deny that if asked, experience tells me it is so. And I must be glad it is so.) Yet, for now, for today, I fill a need–and how wonderful that is. Not because I “should” be glad, but because I know from direct experience what it’s like to be unwanted, unneeded. There are few feelings worse than being superfluous, a burden at best. It’s a feeling that people who have no family know, especially after retirement.”

Wow.  My friend’s comments put the busyness into perspective for me. I am needed, not only by my family, but by the Guild and my clients, by the women who listened to my talk. Being needed is a wonderful feeling, even if it is overwhelming at times.

Look again at the photo above. (This crowd represents less than half the number of CWG members). We currently have just over 600 members and yet less than three percent of our members step forward to volunteer. Do you want to feel needed? Remember…”being needed is almost as good as being loved.” Please consider volunteering for one of these essential positions!

CALA coordinator (Catholic Arts and Letter Award)
This is an awards contest held every other year.
Duties: Email judges in September to find out if they will judge another year and find new judges if necessary
Email all SoA FICTION recipients (email addresses will be provided) to invite them to submit their SoA books that were published in the two preceding years to the contest before January 31 of the award year
Mail books to judges
Send judging forms by email to judges
Follow up with judges
Collect forms and tally results

Publicity Coordinator
Write press releases and coordinator the Guild’s Social Media presence

Our live conference is approaching.  It will be held July 22-24, 2015 in Somerset, New Jersey. For more information or to register, here is the link:

Or if you’re looking for something quieter, our Catholic Writers Retreat will be held Octber 25-29, 2015 at the St. Francis Retreat Center in Dewitt, Michigan. For registration, click on this link:*Beln09Jpg#

If you have any questions, concerns or comments, please feel free to contact me: president(at)catholicwritersguild(dot)(com). (I won’t be answering emails during the Easter Triduum, but will respond by Easter Monday).

Wishing you all a blessed Holy Week,

In Jesus and Mary,

Ellen Gable Hrkach
President, Catholic Writers Guild

About Ellen Gable Hrkach

Ellen Gable Hrkach is an award-winning, Amazon bestselling author. Her five books have been downloaded over 620,000 times on Kindle. Currently, she works as the Marketing Director for Live the Fast, a non-profit Roman Catholic apostolate based in Boston. She does freelance writing and editing for a variety of other websites, she blogs at "Plot Line & Sinker" and is also self-publishing book consultant and a publisher. She and her husband are the parents of five sons ages 16 to 28 and live in Pakenham, Ontario. In her spare time, Ellen enjoys playing board games with her family, watching classic movies on TCM and reading on her Kindle.
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